Vintage Napa 2015
The vintage was a very successful year for grape growing in Napa. The short story is, quality is high, and the crop much lower than usual.
It is one of the earliest vintages on the records in Napa. Early bloom and poor flowering are contributing factors for the lighter load. Vine stress from drought conditions could also be a factor. Those issues contributed to vines not holding the desired fruit load most growers look for.All of the white and sparkling grapes were harvested starting the first week in Augusto and finishing in two weeks. Merlot and Malbec started around the end of August into the first week of September. That is two week earlier than the normal.
Cabernet on the valley floor was Picked Out, followed by hillsides and mountains vineyards with many growers done by the first week in October. The health of the crop was excellent with balanced fruit and developed tannins and overall flavor balanced with moderate acid levels.
The red wines show good extraction levels during fermentation and reds seem to be well rounded and lush fruit and firm tannins. Reds were Barreled Down by late October resting quietly. The only complaint I heard was Not Enough.
I have been following the vintage in barrel and in bottle looking for any signs of possible smoke damage in our wines. We buy fruit from Rutherford as our base wine and add other regions to our blend. In 2015 we have Stags Leap District Petit Verdot in our blend along with Commbsville Merlot. All of the wines I have tasted from our wines to other producers are sound and lack any faults from possible smoke damage. Sadly fires are becoming more of a normal in wine country and rolling blackouts make it harder and harder.
In 2017, Our son Ian had to evacuate from his home on Atlas Peak for three weeks in 2017. That fire started on a Sunday night and we prayed he was safe. He was.……………. Cheers…… Guy